Wireless xbox headsets: Xbox Wireless Headset Review – RTINGS.com

Maxwell Wireless Gaming Headset – Audeze LLC

When will Maxwell be available in ____ (insert international country)?

Please refer to the information above related to shipping time frames. In addition, it is up to our distributors to place orders with us, meaning some of them may receive inventory before others. For China, late February is the earliest possible time frame.


Will the Xbox Maxwell work with PlayStation (or vice versa)?

Either version is universally compatible using the 3.5mm connection. In low-latency wireless mode or via USB, due to differing hardware, firmware, and licensing requirements, the PlayStation version will not work on Xbox. Xbox version on PlayStation via the USB dongle is not officially supported and may not work. Using the Xbox version on PS via wired USB, there may be some limitations in volume control and other possible loss of functionality. We recommend use of the properly supported version for each console.


What improvements does Maxwell have over Penrose?

Maxwell offers several significant advancements over Penrose. Maxwell has an improved chassis using premium materials for improved durability, a greatly extended battery life (greater than 80 hours from our testing), utilizes the new Bluetooth 5.3 protocol for better wireless range and stability, and allows for hi-res audio playback through its USB mode.


How does the Maxwell’s sound differ from Mobius and Penrose?

Maxwell has a brand new driver design that was based on the original Mobius/Penrose design and is going to have a similar sonic signature.

One of the biggest improvements comes from the new housing. In the Penrose/Mobius housing the left and right side were not acoustically balanced due to the presence of PCB on one side, and the battery on the other. Buttons were also mostly on the left. With Maxwell, we have a dual chamber design. There is an inner housing that acoustically isolates the driver from the electronics. This alone makes a huge improvement.

In terms of chipset improvements, the Maxwell uses a newer more powerful dedicated DAC and amp sections. The DSP is also much more powerful compared to Penrose. This gives Maxwell much larger dynamic range and a lower noise floor compared to Mobius and Penrose.


Is there a trade up program for Penrose/Mobius owners?

We have no immediate plans, but we’ll consider it for the future.


What kind of materials are used in Maxwell?

Maxwell uses an All-New Reinforced Chassis Built with Aluminum yokes, spring steel headband, and glass infused nylon for other structural parts including the cups.


Does Maxwell take the place of Mobius?

Mobius is designed primarily for the needs of the high-end PC gamer who wants 5.1/7.1 surround sound and head-tracking. However, if you want a high end wireless headset, the Maxwell is your answer.


Will the PS version work with Dolby Access if I have my own license on PC?
Maxwell will work with existing Dolby Atmos licenses. If it was previously enabled on PC, you can continue using it for Maxwell as well.


Why are the drivers 90mm instead of 100mm like the Mobius/Penrose?

The active area is still same. The new dual chamber earcup design takes up some of the space by having two physical earcups, one internal and one external – this helps with noise isolation and acoustics.


Are the headsets cross compatible with the dongles (will PS dongle work on Xbox headset and vice versa)?

The headsets are not cross compatible. You need to pair PS Maxwell with a PS dongle and Xbox headset with an Xbox dongle.


Are the earpads detachable or glued on?

The earpads are detachable. They easily unlock by twisting clockwise.


Will Maxwell have simultaneous dongle/BT playback. Say listening to music on BT while playing a game on dongle mode?

Simultaneous dongle and Bluetooth playback is not possible with the Maxwell chipset, however, USB wired + BT and Aux + BT do have simultaneous playback. If you need to use two audio devices at the same time, please use one of those configurations.


Maxwell will switch between dongle and BT seamlessly via a multipoint Bluetooth connection, however, it will not play back both sources simultaneously. For instance, if you are playing with USB dongle mode and a call comes in, you will be able to answer the call with Maxwell. Once the call is over, you will automatically switch back to USB dongle mode.


How does the Game/Chat function differ from Penrose?

On the Penrose and Penrose X, the Game/Chat Mix was done by pressing the Microphone wheel and then adjusting up and down, as the default scroll action on the wheel was your mic volume. On Maxwell, as there is no microphone volume control (Maxwell uses AGC – Automatic Gain Control) to control the output level of your mic. Game/Chat balance is now the default action, meaning that you only have to adjust the lower wheel up and down to adjust the game/chat balance.

Maxwell also utilizes a dual-end point design for use on PC and Mac. When you plug the dongle in a PC, it appears as two different end points. i.e. it appears as two audio devices. The first one is Maxwell Game and the second one is Maxwell Chat. The applications can choose either of the two audio devices to playback. The rotary button adjusts the balance between the two audio devices/end points.

In short:Game/Chat balance is simply done by adjusting the lower wheel (chat/communication wheel) up and down. Mic gain is now automatically controlled (adjusts microphone volume automatically).


How do I adjust the new headband, and is it fully suspension-style?

To adjust the headband, grab on to the strap near the screw holes and pull the strap holes over the screws. You do not need to remove the screws from the headband to adjust the strap.

For most head shapes and sizes, as long as you don’t need both sides to be on the lowest screws (which maximizes size for the biggest heads), the headband will be suspension style. Do note that while we try to accommodate all head shapes and sizes, there are some limits to the design of any headphone, and some touching of the headband might occur on larger adjustments and larger heads.


What are the inner ear dimensions for the ear pads on Maxwell?

Maxwell has an ear opening on the pads that are:65mm tall x 50mm wide x 30mm deep (back side) and 20mm deep (front side).

Note: that there may be some slight tolerance differences on a per-pad basis.


As a PC only user, which would be the best version, Xbox or PlayStation Maxwell?

Both the Xbox version as well as the PlayStation version will function identically for PC use. In this case, you can save a bit of money by choosing the PlayStation version. The Xbox version includes a Dolby Atmos license to use specifically with the headset. Note: Existing Dolby Atmos licenses purchased separately through the Microsoft app store, will work with both versions of Maxwell.


Will Maxwell come with a travel case?

While we do not currently have any case options for the Maxwell or MM-100, users have found this case to work well: Geekria Shield Case (on Amazon)

Please note we do not officially endorse this product, so your mileage may vary. Other options may exist online.

In case you’d like to find a different option, the dimensions of the earcups are about 100mm, and the headphones are about 200mm tall. While we do not have an ETA, we do plan on providing a case option in the future.


Is the Aux/3.5mm connection passive? Will it work like a normal headset without the unit being powered on?

Maxwell, like the Penrose and Mobius, requires power as it is an active headset on all connection types. Like those headsets, Maxwell utilizes an internal DSP and houses a balanced amplifier for each driver. We suggest common sense in what you plug the Maxwell into with a 3.5mm/aux cable. If you use an amplifier and don’t set the volume accordingly, you can overcharge the circuitry inside the headset. It is highly recommended you either bypass using amplifiers, or set the volume very low and adjust up until you achieve a good balance between the Maxwell’s volume control, and your source gear. Using external amplifiers may be detrimental to sound quality and potentially add more noise and distortion.


Does Maxwell include ANC?

Maxwell does not include ANC. Like Mobius and Penrose, as well as our other closed back LCD headphones like the LCD-2 Closed, and LCD-XC), it cancels noise passively due to the closed back design. The new dual chamber earcup design offers improved passive noise isolation from outside from our previous models.

Maxwell does have AI powered noise cancelling for its outgoing chat/communications for both internal and external microphones (boom mic).

The 3 Best Gaming Headsets of 2023

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  1. Electronics
  2. Gaming

Photo: Michael Hession


Great audio can draw you into a video game with bold effects, realistic details, and immersive soundtracks. A good gaming headset allows you to enjoy all of that while you chat with your friends and teammates, too. But even the best sound quality won’t do you any good if the headset isn’t comfortable to wear for long periods of time. After testing close to 20 new headsets in 2022 and 2023, we’ve found that the Razer BlackShark V2 is the most comfortable, best-sounding gaming headset for the price.

Our pick

Razer BlackShark V2

Comfortable across a wide range of head sizes, this headset provides detailed, spacious sound that’s perfect for games, and it works on every modern platform and device.

The Razer BlackShark V2 can adjust to fit a range of head sizes and shapes, and it has crisp audio with clear distinction across the bass, mids, and highs so you can hear rumbling explosions, dialogue, and light footsteps. The combination of comfort and sound quality is rare at this price, and it works with nearly any console or device. Its microphone also works well enough for casual chats, and doesn’t pick up excess noise leaking from the earcups.


Budget pick

HyperX Cloud Stinger 2

The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 offers clear and impressive sound quality seldom found in headsets at this price, and it’s comfortable enough for most people to wear for hours on end without complaint.

If you don’t want to spend more than $50 on a headset, buy the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2. Its leatherette earcups feel good against the skin, and it’s lightweight and comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time. The Cloud Stinger 2 also delivers clear, balanced sound that keeps its integrity at any volume, and this headset has the best microphone of all our picks. After our first-impression audio test, we were shocked to learn that it costs only $50.

Upgrade pick

Razer BlackShark V2 Pro

Indisputably the best headset we tested in the past year, this model has rich, enveloping sound with superb clarity, as well as a lightweight build that makes it easy to forget you’re wearing a headset—even while wearing glasses.

No other headset we’ve tested in the past year has matched the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro in crispness and detail. Its immersive surround sound makes playing familiar games feel like a new experience, and it’s light and breathable enough to wear all day. Although it’s a wireless headset, it also comes with a 3.5 mm cable that makes it compatible with any console.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Razer BlackShark V2

Comfortable across a wide range of head sizes, this headset provides detailed, spacious sound that’s perfect for games, and it works on every modern platform and device.

Budget pick

HyperX Cloud Stinger 2

The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 offers clear and impressive sound quality seldom found in headsets at this price, and it’s comfortable enough for most people to wear for hours on end without complaint.

Upgrade pick

Razer BlackShark V2 Pro

Indisputably the best headset we tested in the past year, this model has rich, enveloping sound with superb clarity, as well as a lightweight build that makes it easy to forget you’re wearing a headset—even while wearing glasses.

The research

  • Headset picks and system compatibility
  • Why you should trust us
  • Who this is for
  • How we picked
  • How we tested
  • Our pick: Razer BlackShark V2
  • Budget pick: HyperX Cloud Stinger 2
  • Upgrade pick: Razer BlackShark V2 Pro
  • What to look forward to
  • The competition
  • Frequently asked questions

Headset picks and system compatibility

Razer BlackShark V2 HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 Razer BlackShark V2 Pro
PlayStation 5
Xbox Series X|S
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Nintendo Switch

Why you should trust us

I spent a full year preparing to take over this guide in 2022, taking a semester-long course with Berklee College of Music to study critical listening analysis of music and sound, as well as to learn more about the recording, mixing, and mastering processes of audio production. I also read Understanding Audio by Daniel M. Thompson and practiced ear training to distinguish different frequencies and instruments. Additionally, I have more than 23 years of combined musical experience in classical piano, vocal accompaniment, and voice. I’ve also covered gaming hardware and video games for five years.

Who this is for

A gaming headset is the best option if you play a lot of multiplayer games like Call of Duty: Warzone, Fortnite, or Overwatch 2 and you want to communicate with your teammates. If you don’t play multiplayer games with voice chat, you should buy a good pair of headphones instead; for less money, you’ll get a better-sounding, nicer-looking set.

If you stream games online or you’re looking for a headset that can also work for the occasional meeting, podcast session, or professional recording, a gaming headset is not the best option. If mic sound quality is important to you, a USB microphone paired with good headphones will give you better clarity and vocal fidelity.

Less convenient, but better sound

How we picked

Photo: Michael Hession

There are so, so, so many gaming headsets, and it’s impossible to differentiate between them based on specs alone. In our research and testing, we look at the following criteria:

  • Comfort: A gaming headset should be comfortable to wear for hours, and shouldn’t clamp too tight on your head or jaw (or slip off your head). The headband shouldn’t dig into the top of your head, the cups shouldn’t make your ears too hot, and the headset shouldn’t pinch or let too much sound leak out if you wear glasses.
  • Sound quality: Gaming headsets rarely sound as detailed as comparably priced headphones, but they should still be clear and accurate, with no particular frequency range overpowering another.
  • Microphone: A good microphone should be able to reproduce your voice clearly and accurately, and cancel out as much background noise as possible. We like headsets with sidetone, also known as mic monitoring, which is a feature that allows you to hear your own voice through your headset, but very few models include this.
  • Price: After researching hundreds of headsets, we’ve found that most people should be happy with a wired set that costs around $100. Solid budget options are available for around $50, but cheaper models lose sound clarity in the headphones and mic, and comfort and build quality drop considerably. For a great-sounding wireless headset, expect to pay between $150 and $200.
  • Build quality: The headband shouldn’t creak when you put the headset on or move around, and the headset should survive being tossed in a bag. We prefer headsets with detachable cables and microphones, which are easier to replace if they break, as well as replaceable earpads. Most headsets come with a two-year warranty, but some companies (such as JBL) offer only a one-year warranty.
  • Volume controls: Gaming headsets should have volume and microphone mute controls on the earcups or on the cable. We pay attention to how easy these are to use, especially the mic-mute function.
  • Compatibility: Headsets with 3.5 mm connectors, like many headphones with microphones, are compatible with a wider range of gaming devices—PCs, consoles, and mobile devices—than USB headsets, which typically work only with PCs and either PlayStation consoles or Xbox consoles (almost never both).
  • Surround sound: If an already good headset offers virtual surround sound, that’s fine, but it’s not worth paying more for the feature. Often listed as “virtual 7.1 surround sound,” virtual surround sound simulates positional audio by artificially adding reverb and distance between channels, an effect that we’ve found makes games and music sound terrible—like throwing a tin can down a concrete hallway. In our testing, in-game surround-sound settings have sounded much better and have been much more accurate than any headset’s artificial surround sound. And any set of headphones can gain virtual surround sound on a PC with paid software like Razer Surround Sound or Dolby Atmos or the free Windows Sonic for Headphones (each of which instructs you to disable any headset-specific surround-sound settings).
  • Software: Some companies offer software that can customize equalizer settings, change button behavior, display battery life, or deliver firmware updates. This software should be optional, and a headset should produce excellent sound without extra drivers or downloads.

In addition to the above criteria, for wireless headsets we consider the following:

  • Battery life: A good wireless headset should last at least 15 to 20 hours on a single charge—longer battery life is always better—and you should be able to use the headset while it’s charging.
  • Connectivity: With the exception of a small handful of Bluetooth headsets, most wireless headsets come with a 2.4 GHz wireless USB dongle. The dongle should be well built, easy to use, and hard to lose. There shouldn’t be any connectivity issues, noticeable latency, buzzing sounds, or white noise.

How we tested

We try each headset on a variety of head and ear sizes to rule out those that squeeze too hard, have uncomfortable headbands, have itchy or creaky earpads, or feel uncomfortable with glasses. For every headset that passes the initial comfort test, we test audio quality by listening to a playlist of songs and other clips selected to evaluate detail, bass, and soundstage. We eliminate headsets that sound too inaccurate or unpleasant, or that lose significant elements when set to lower volumes.

Next, we test each headset with games on our budget gaming-laptop pick and various game consoles. We turn off sound-processing software installed on the laptop, though sound and microphone quality can be affected by your PC’s motherboard or sound card. We also don’t use external DACs or amplifiers, unless they come in the box with the headset. We wear all of our picks for five consecutive hours or more while gaming to test for long-term comfort.

We test the microphone performance of our most promising contenders by recording voice samples over background coffee-shop noises and while typing on a mechanical keyboard to evaluate audio quality and noise cancellation. We also chat with friends while playing loud action games to make sure that sound coming from the headset doesn’t bleed and echo into the mics. Finally, we look for any glaring latency issues by watching YouTube videos and TV shows with lots of dialogue to check the synchronization between the sound we are hearing and the mouth movements on screen.

Our pick: Razer BlackShark V2

Photo: Michael Hession

Our pick

Razer BlackShark V2

Comfortable across a wide range of head sizes, this headset provides detailed, spacious sound that’s perfect for games, and it works on every modern platform and device.

Wired/wireless: wired Microphone: detachable, no sidetone
Connection: 3.5 mm auxiliary cable, or optional USB-A sound card for PC Compatibility: Switch, PC, PlayStation, Xbox, mobile devices
Colors: black, blue and yellow, yellow and black Warranty: two years

The Razer BlackShark V2 is the best wired headset for most people thanks to its solid combination of comfort, price, and audio quality.

It’s comfortable enough to wear for hours. It adjusts to a wide range of head sizes and shapes, and it has foam earcups that feel soft against the skin. The headband doesn’t push down on the top of the head with too much force.

It has great audio quality for the price. The roomy soundstage spreads directional sounds better than some other headsets at this price, which is especially useful in online games and shooters. It also sounds crisp and clear, and doesn’t sacrifice much quality at lower volumes.

It doesn’t pick up sound bleed through the microphone. Some microphones pick up in-game sounds that leak through the earcups, which can annoy your friends or teammates. The BlackShark V2 doesn’t have this issue, and its detachable microphone reproduces your voice clearly without making it sound nasally or muffled.

It’s compatible with any console. The Blackshark V2 uses a wired 3.5 mm cable to connect to any console or controller you may have. It also comes with an optional USB-A connector for PCs that enables THX Spatial Audio through Razer’s Synapse software. We didn’t notice a significant difference between audio quality through the sound card compared with the standard 3.5 mm connection, but it didn’t hurt our listening experience, either.

It has decent noise cancellation that makes it easy to stay immersed in the game. Compared with many of the other headsets we tested, the BlackShark V2 blocks out a lot of noise. But because it doesn’t have sidetone, it can leave you prone to shouting through the microphone.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

  • The Razer BlackShark V2’s cable isn’t detachable, so if some part of the wire breaks after the headset’s warranty period is over, you’ll have to open up the earcup and solder a new wire to replace it.
  • Some people may find the memory foam on the earcups to be warmer than a material like leatherette, and it’s also a bit harder to clean.
  • The onboard audio controls are minimal, with only a volume knob and a mute button on the left earcup. Some people may want more controls, such as chat-volume adjustment.

Budget pick: HyperX Cloud Stinger 2

Photo: Michael Hession

Budget pick

HyperX Cloud Stinger 2

The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 offers clear and impressive sound quality seldom found in headsets at this price, and it’s comfortable enough for most people to wear for hours on end without complaint.

Wired/wireless: wired Microphone: swivel-to-mute, no sidetone
Connection: 3.5 mm auxiliary cable Compatibility: Switch, PC, PlayStation, Xbox, mobile devices
Available colors: black Warranty: two years

We were surprised to find that the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 costs only $50. It’s well balanced and comfortable to wear for long periods of time, it has the best microphone of all our picks, and it sounds better than many of the more expensive headsets we tested.

It sounds better than many headsets that cost triple the price. The results were spacious enough for us to distinguish similar sound effects and tones from one another. It has less audible complexity than our other picks, but the quality is still impressive for a headset at this price.

It doesn’t sacrifice quality at lower volumes. Many gaming headsets—including more expensive models—clip off certain frequencies when set to lower volumes, but in our tests the Cloud Stinger 2 kept all of the elements of music and in-game sounds no matter how quiet it was.

It has decent virtual surround sound. This headset comes with a two-year software license for DTS Sound Unbound, which creates virtual surround sound for certain devices on PCs and Xbox consoles. The difference isn’t drastic, but it’s worth taking advantage and enabling DTS:X Spatial Audio to widen the headset’s soundstage even more. It never delivers true 360-degree surround sound—most directional sounds can be heard in an arc of about 180 degrees around the front and sides—but that’s better than most budget headsets can promise.

It has the best microphone of all our picks. The microphone on the Cloud Stinger 2 swivels out of the way and automatically mutes when raised, which we love—as might anyone who has ever had a mute-button mishap in the past. The mic offers clear and accurate voice reproduction, and in our tests, it didn’t pick up ambient background or typing noises. While we wouldn’t use the mics on any of our other picks for something like streaming or recording a podcast, we believe the Cloud Stinger 2’s mic would fare just fine in such instances.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

  • The Cloud Stinger 2 is compatible with all consoles thanks to its 3.5 mm cable, but the cable is built into the headset and thus cannot be removed. If it breaks after the headset’s warranty period is over, you’ll have to open up the earcup and solder a new wire to replace it.
  • The build quality feels cheaper and more rickety than our other picks, but its leatherette earcups feel nice against the skin, and if they wear out over time, you can replace them with a number of third-party options.

Upgrade pick: Razer BlackShark V2 Pro

Photo: Michael Hession

Upgrade pick

Razer BlackShark V2 Pro

Indisputably the best headset we tested in the past year, this model has rich, enveloping sound with superb clarity, as well as a lightweight build that makes it easy to forget you’re wearing a headset—even while wearing glasses.

Wired/wireless: wireless Microphone: detachable, no sidetone
Connection: USB-A dongle, or detachable 3.5 mm auxiliary cable Compatibility: wireless for Switch, PC, and PlayStation; wired for Xbox and mobile devices
Available colors: black, white, white and black with orange highlights Warranty: two years

The Razer BlackShark V2 Pro looks nearly identical to our top pick, the Razer BlackShark V2, but it offers wireless connectivity and an upgraded listening experience with its crisp audio and immersive surround sound.

It’s more comfortable. The BlackShark V2 Pro has the same soft memory-foam earcups and wide range of adjustment as the BlackShark V2, but it weighs about 2 ounces more, which actually makes it feel sturdier and more balanced on the head.

You can ditch the cable. This headset connects wirelessly with a USB-A dongle and charges via micro-USB, but it can also work with any console thanks to the included 3.5 mm cable.

It sounds amazing. We played a number of games with the BlackShark V2 Pro, including titles we’re very familiar with, and we were in awe of the new sounds we heard through this headset that we’d never noticed before. We could hear characters speaking behind us from a distance more clearly than ever before in games like God of War and Grand Theft Auto V, and atmospheric details like wind blowing and birds chirping sounded realistic in tone and proximity. The BlackShark V2 Pro’s soundstage is extremely roomy, and the audio quality is crisp and balanced. It’s also an excellent headset for simply listening to music.

Photo: Michael Hession

Flaws but not dealbreakers

  • The BlackShark V2 Pro’s detachable microphone made my voice sound distant, muffled, and nasally. It came through audibly enough for basic chat, but for this headset’s price, we’d expect better voice reproduction.
  • The inner headband and memory-foam earcups are comfortable and breathable, but this material is harder to clean and more likely to absorb sweat than something like leatherette.

What to look forward to

We’ll test more Xbox-compatible wireless headsets for our next update. Xbox wireless headsets are scarcer than options for PlayStation, and we haven’t been impressed with the ones we’ve tested so far.

The competition

We dismissed the following headsets because they’re uncomfortable for a variety of head and ear sizes, have a poor range of adjustment and slide off the head easily, or apply too much pressure in one or more areas:

  • HyperX Cloud Core + 7. 1, HyperX Cloud Stinger Core
  • JBL Quantum 100, JBL Quantum 200, JBL Quantum 400, JBL Quantum 600
  • Logitech G332, Logitech G733, Logitech G735
  • Razer BlackShark V2 X, Razer Kraken X, Razer Kraken 2019
  • SteelSeries Arctis 7+, SteelSeries Arctis 7P+, SteelSeries Arctis 9, SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1
  • Audeze Maxwell Wireless
  • Beyerdynamic MMX 100
  • Drop + Sennheiser PC38X
  • Drop + Epos h4X
  • PDP Airlite Pro Wireless
  • PlayStation Pulse 3D
  • Skullcandy PLYR

These headsets were dismissed for poor audio quality, or quality that couldn’t beat our current picks:

  • Astro A30 Wireless
  • Audio-Technica ATH-GDL3, Audio-Technica ATH-GL3
  • Beyerdynamic MMX 100, Beyerdynamic MMX 150, Beyerdynamic MMX 300
  • Corsair HS60 Pro
  • Drop + Sennheiser PC38X
  • HyperX Cloud II Wireless + 7.1
  • JBL Quantum 350 Wireless, JBL Quantum 400, JBL Quantum One
  • PDP Airlite Pro Wireless
  • SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3
  • Raycon Gaming Headphones
  • Razer Kaira Pro, Razer Kraken 2019, Razer Kraken V3 Pro
  • SteelSeries Arctis 9, SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless, Steelseries Arctis Prime

We dismissed the following headsets for connectivity limitations or issues, such as wireless headsets offering no option for wired connections, or USB-A-only connection types:

This article was edited by Arthur Gies and Caitlin McGarry.

Frequently asked questions

Do wireless gaming headsets use Bluetooth?

Some wireless gaming headsets use Bluetooth to connect to computers or mobile devices, but it’s less ideal for consoles or as the primary form of connection. Most headsets connect through a USB-A 2.4 GHz dongle because that type of connection is more stable and reliable.

Can I use a USB headset with an Xbox, PS4, or PS5?

Only officially licensed USB headsets work with each console via USB—be sure to do a quick Google search to see if your headset is supported. We have a compatibility table for our picks at the top of this guide.

Meet your guide

Haley Perry

Haley Perry is an associate staff writer at Wirecutter covering video games and technology. She used to review video games full-time, and she’s also a big fan of mezcal. If you get enough in her, she may just admit that she still plays The Sims … a lot.

Further reading

  • Gear and Peripherals for PC Gaming

    by Haley Perry

    We’ve tested hundreds of gaming laptops, keyboards, mice, and other essentials to make your PC gaming experience even more immersive and enjoyable.

  • The Best VR Headset

    by Signe Brewster and Arthur Gies

    Our pick pairs great performance with a very low cost of entry.

  • The Best PC Gaming Controller

    by Andrew Cunningham and Britt H. Young

    With nearly complete compatibility for every controller-based game on Windows or Mac, the Xbox controller for Series X|S is the best option for most people.

Wirecutter is the product recommendation service from The New York Times. Our journalists combine independent research with (occasionally) over-the-top testing so you can make quick and confident buying decisions. Whether it’s finding great products or discovering helpful advice, we’ll help you get it right (the first time).

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Xbox headsets, controller chargers, etc.

HyperX’s officially licensed line of Xbox products with full compatibility keeps you always in the game.

Comfortable and comfortable to wear, HyperX gaming headphones feature super-soft ear cushions with signature foam. The soft, memory-foaming substance fits snuggly and snugly around your ears, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the game’s audio environment. Nothing will distract you from the process, allowing you to stay focused during long sessions. The applied surround sound technology ensures complete immersion in the gaming process. Headsets are equipped with high-quality noise-canceling microphones, allowing you to chat in chats without external interference.

For greater freedom of movement, we offer a range of wireless headphones that offer a secure and stable connection while maintaining high sound quality. They are convenient to use both at home and on the road, staying online anywhere.

Xbox Controller Charging Stations provide quick charging for game sticks. You don’t have to interrupt your gaming session at the most inopportune moment due to the discharge of the device – just change the controller and continue the battle.

All accessories in the HyperX for Xbox line are made from durable materials, tested for reliability, and certified by the game console manufacturer. This guarantees consistently high quality and durability.

  • Serial number: HX-HSCCHX-BK/WW

    • Chat headset officially licensed by Xbox
    • Noise canceling microphone
    • Lightweight, adaptive design
    • Built-in sound control
    • Compatible with Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S
    • Serial number: HX-HSCCHX-BK/WW
    • Learn more
  • Serial number: HX-HSCSX-BK/WW

    • Headset officially licensed by Xbox
    • 90° swivel cups
    • Adjustable steel sliders
    • Rotary Mute Microphone
    • Compatible with Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S
    • Serial number: HX-HSCSX-BK/WW
    • Learn more
  • Serial number: HX-HSCSCX-BK

    • Headset officially licensed by Xbox
    • Built-in audio controls with microphone mute
    • Padded headband
    • Flexible and adjustable microphone
    • Compatible with Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S
    • Serial number: HX-HSCSCX-BK
    • Learn more
  • Serial number: HX-CPDUX-C

    • Officially licensed Xbox controller charging station
    • Includes two 1400 mAh battery packs
    • Separate LED indicators for battery charging
    • AC adapter
    • Serial number: HX-CPDUX-C
    • Learn more

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How do I connect my wireless headphones to my Xbox? (3 min)

Let’s figure out how to connect wireless bluetooth headphones to Xbox One / Series S and X / 360 and wired gaming headsets.

The easiest way to connect your Xbox One to your wireless headphones is with an adapter. Fully and without tricks “over the air”, only licensed headsets can be connected to the Xbox. Unlike, for example, the PS4 console, which is suitable for most gaming models with a USB adapter. This creates additional difficulties, but there are no unsolvable problems in the world 😎 . 👇

⭐ Best Xbox Headphones (2023):
🧭 How to connect headphones to Xbox One / Series S and X / 360:

  1. Wireless Bluetooth headphones → via adapter to gamepad. 📡
  2. Wireless bluetooth headphones → to TV / receiver.
  3. Officially compatible headsets → via Xbox Wireless protocol / via USB adapter. 🎧
  4. Wired headphones → via gamepad, with or without adapter. 🎮

  • Leave your questions in the comments.

How to connect bluetooth headphones to Xbox – video

🎮 Choosing gaming headphones:

📡 1.

How to connect wireless bluetooth headphones to Xbox One, Series S and X, 360 – via Bluetooth adapter

How to connect wireless bluetooth headphones to Xbox One and other versions of the console, the issue is resolved using adapters. By default, no version of the console from Microsoft supports the connection of headphones via Bluetooth .

There is another option for connecting Bluetooth headphones via a phone using the Xbox One application, but in this case, only the chat sound is sent to the headphones, they are used as a headset for communication, so we will not consider this method.

It is important to understand that when you connect headphones via Bluetooth, the picture and sound will be out of sync. It may be different, depending on the adapter and headphones. There is no desync in official headsets.

How do I connect my Xbox One to my wireless headphones? Only via a third-party Bluetooth adapter for Xbox that plugs into the gamepad’s 3. 5mm port and communicates with the headphones via Bluetooth. You can buy one on Aliexpress.

  1. If your gamepad does not have a 3.5 mm jack, then you need to purchase a special adapter , which is connected to the existing connector. It adds a 3.5mm output and chat/game volume control and microphone mute functionality. This is if we talk about the official model from Microsoft. There are also cheaper alternatives.
  2. We connect the Bluetooth adapter to the 3.5 mm jack on the gamepad. In “native” or added by another adapter.
  3. We turn on and configure the adapter according to the instructions for it . Usually there are no settings, you just need to put it into pairing mode: with a button or automatically.
  4. Turn on the Bluetooth headphones and put them into pairing mode .
  5. Waiting for headphones and adapter to contact .
  6. Playing . 😎

    How to Connect Headphones to Xbox Controller – 3.5mm Adapter

Important points for choosing a Bluetooth adapter

  • There are 2 types of adapters : only transmitter and receiver-transmitter. In the first case, you will only hear game sounds, but you will not be able to communicate through the microphone. In the second case, respectively, you can. Based on your needs, be sure to check the functionality of the adapter before buying.
  • If you are buying a receiver-transmitter, you need to check the type of pinout on its 3.5 mm plug . The Xbox One uses the CTIA form. And the plug may have another one – OMTP. If you connect it to a gamepad, then there will be problems: the microphone may make noise or not work at all.

How to connect Bluetooth headphones to Xbox Series S/X? Exactly the same as for the Xbox One. What about the Xbox 360? It’s more complicated here, this console, in principle, does not support the transfer of game sounds to the headphone jack.

📺 2. How to connect bluetooth headphones to Xbox 360, One, Series – via TV, receiver

The Xbox is usually connected to a TV that already has built-in or connected speakers . Sound comes out through them. This is the default logic. But modern TVs have the ability to connect Bluetooth headphones.

  1. Turn on the headphones, put them into search mode .
  2. Go to the Bluetooth settings on the TV, find our headphones there and pair them .
  3. We make sure that the sound output on the TV is switched to Bluetooth .
  4. Playing .

If the TV itself does not support Bluetooth, then you can purchase an adapter for it, like the one described above . But there are more options here. In addition to USB, they can connect to a TV via RCA, optical or HDMI.

  1. We connect the adapter in the necessary way to the TV and put it into the search mode.
  2. Turn on the headphones and also activate the accessibility mode on them.
  3. We pair the headphones and the adapter according to the instructions for it.
  4. We make sure that the sound output on the TV is set to the interface through which the adapter is connected (optics, RCA, HDMI).

If you have a receiver (set-top box, home theater), you can connect headphones to it. By Bluetooth (if supported) or by wire. In addition, Xbox One supports optical connection of external devices. Accordingly, an adapter with such an interface can be connected to it. The logic is the same, only you need to make sure that the sound on the Xbox is output to the optics.

🎮 Choosing gaming headphones:

🎧 3. How to connect headphones to Xbox One / Series S and X – wireless officially compatible

Wireless gaming headset models officially licensed by Microsoft can connect to Xbox One and Series S and X consoles using either the proprietary Xbox Wireless protocol or wirelessly via a USB dongle. In both cases, there will be no desynchronization of picture and sound.

Xbox Wireless is a type of wireless connection similar to traditional radio. Only the frequencies are slightly different. This type of connection, of course, is supported by Microsoft’s proprietary headset and several other models from other manufacturers.

To connect via Xbox Wireless, just turn on the headset and put it in search mode . It will be automatically detected on Xbox (One and Series S / X versions are supported). Of course, the console must also be enabled. If automatic connection does not occur, you need to press the pairing button on the joystick.

How do I connect my headphones to my Xbox One S over the air? Officially licensed headsets connect easily:

  1. Plug the USB adapter into the correct slot on the console.
  2. Turn on headphones . They will be automatically detected and audio output will switch to them (to USB).
  3. Playing .

Wireless gaming headphones not officially licensed by Microsoft cannot be connected to the console. It won’t “see” them when the USB adapter is plugged in. USB wire, wired headphones to the Xbox can not be connected either. Here is such a touchy console 😐 .

💎 Headphones for Xbox on Aliexpress :

  • HyperX Cloud Alpha S
  • Razer Nari Ultimate for Xbox One

🎮 4. How to connect headphones to Xbox controller – wired connection

How to connect headphones to the joystick (gamepad) Xbox

Wired headphones can be connected to the Xbox via the 3.5 mm input on the joystick (gamepad). Just plug in your headphones and play. But there are several features.

  • Xbox 360 controller does not have a 3.5 mm jack . Some versions have a 2.5 mm jack for connecting a proprietary headset. But this is a headset – only for communication, game sounds are not transmitted to it. You can purchase a 2.5 mm to 3.5 mm adapter to connect a third-party model to the joystick. In addition, the console itself has a headset jack. And, again, just talking. Output game sounds from the Xbox 360 to the headphones will not work.
  • Not all Xbox One controllers have a 3.5mm headphone jack . In this case, as mentioned above, you need to purchase a special adapter.
  • The 3.5mm outputs on Xbox One and Series controllers (and adapters) are CTIA pinouts, while many (relatively older) wired headphones have OMTP pinouts. For the full operation of the headset in this case, you need an adapter.
  • If you plan to use a computer gaming headset with 2 x 3.5mm plugs (for headphones and microphone separately), you need an adapter from them to one combo mini-jack. Also taking into account the correct pinout.
  • When the gaming headset is properly connected to the Xbox One and Series, both game sounds and chat are heard in the headphones, the microphone functions, and you can chat.